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Posts Tagged ‘mac’

Google Notifier for Mac and Google Apps (GAFYD)

March 16th, 2007 No comments

Google NotifierA couple weeks ago I noticed that Google Notifier was no longer giving me notifications of new email. All this started right around the time that Google launched their Premier Edition service. I was going to write about this back then, but the post sat in my drafts while I was trying to figure out what was happening. I think I finally have the full (if somewhat disappointing) answer.

I sign in with my Google Apps account (not a regular Gmail account). Unfortunately, Google Notifier hasn’t been updated to work properly with Google Apps for Your Domain. The links to open your calendar, inbox, compose a new message, and so on try to take you to the regular Gmail or Calendar pages. The login fails because Notifier is presenting credentials for Google Apps. What was more puzzling was that the new items list still worked in Calendar, but not in Mail. The notifications and the count of new mail items in the menu bar used to work and now I’ve figured out how to make them work again.

The key (for some unknown reason) is to login to Google Apps in Safari first. Yep, that’s it. I have Firefox set as my default browser and rarely use Safari so I hadn’t noticed until I logged in with that browser. Once you do that, Google Notifier will start working again for email notifications. I still can’t open my Mail from Notifier, but the notifications and unread message count work.

This a good spot to put a little plug in for Growl as well. All you need is Gmail+Growl, which will feed the notifications to Growl so you can integrate them into your other system notifications.

I did a little digging around in the package for Notifier and there are several hardcoded references to the gmail page. Along with the dependency on having a valid cookie with Safari, this makes Google Notifier less than perfect. Hopefully, someone will get around to updating this utility to work properly with mail.google.com/a/ as well as mail.google.com/accounts.

Forget AppleTV – Mac mini as Video Server

March 10th, 2007 No comments

I ran across this podcast/article at HTGuys today. It gives a pretty good high-level description of a working home theater system that uses the Mac mini as the hub for video and audio. The system is primarily used for movie viewing (ripped from DVD’s) and the bulk of the conversation is about this, but it does mention recording TV as well.

This article highlights some of the advantages that the mini provides over the AppleTV. In particular, the mini allows for AC3 audio passthrough to your receiver for surround sound. There doesn’t appear to be a way to encode surround sound into AppleTV-compatible files. The mini also allows for the possibility of TV recording and central storage that can be shared out to the rest of the house (the AppleTV has a 40GB hard drive for caching content shared from another computer’s iTunes library). With a wired network, the system here is able to stream HD content to three computers at the same time.

As much as I’d like to dump my cable DVR and roll my own, I still can’t make up my mind which approach to take. More and more, I see disadvantages to the AppleTV approach.

Streaming HDTV from the HDHomeRun to the Mac

March 6th, 2007 No comments

HDHomeRun GUI for MacAn enterprising user at the Silicon Dust forums has created a GUI for tuning the HDHomeRun to a particular channel and launching VLC to play the stream on your Mac. This doesn’t allow for timeshifting or PVR features, but it does let you watch live High Definition on the Mac. Now we just need integration with the IR remotes that come with newer Macs so we don’t have to touch the keyboard and mouse to change the channel. I mean, really, what is this? 1977?

Props go out to TUAW for posting the story first.

Garmin Training Center for Mac now available

January 26th, 2007 No comments

Just a quick note to say that Garmin has made their Training Center software available for download. Mblog put up a note that says that in order to import your history from the Windows software, you should make sure to upgrade to version 3.2.1 first.

Did I tell you I was really excited about GPS on the Mac in 2007?

Garmin tells us what they’re planning for Mac OS X support

January 20th, 2007 No comments

I wrote a short bit just before MacWorld (isn’t that iPhone cool? even with the limitations) about how Garmin was going to release Training Center for the Mac. Well, they kept their word and handed out copies at the show. We’re still waiting for the download to be made available, but it should be coming Real Soon Now.

A few days ago, Chet’s Corner on the Garmin Blog let out that they were planning on doing a lot more with Mac support this year. In particular, we should see Mac OS X apps for doing firmware updates on your Garmin gear. It was also mentioned that the POI loader will be made available on OS X as well.

This will be a big deal for Mac users because you will no longer need to find a friend with a PC in order to update your gear to the latest revisions. You will also be able to do some things with custom POI’s that you couldn’t do before. Frankly, this is looking like it’s going to be a good year for Mac users and GPS.

I’ll post about Garmin again as soon as the Training Center download is made available.

Categories: Apple, Technology Tags: , , , ,

How Parallels could control the Mac game market

January 7th, 2007 No comments

I’ve been thinking about how Parallels has said they are working on DirectX and 3D support for their VM software for the Mac. The basic reason for doing this is so people can play games. Sure, there are some other Windows-only 3D apps out there that people want to use on the Mac, but games is where most people would use this tech. So, I’m just wondering… could Parallels package this “special sauce” with WINE and make a compatibility layer for individual programs to run on the Mac? Just think if Parallels could license this out so that a game developer could release a Windows-only game with the WINE configuration files so that it would install and run correctly on the Mac.

I’ve heard all the arguments about how such a proposition might end game development for the Mac platform and I don’t think it matters. For other classes of software, people will want the OS specific hooks that come with a good Mac application – applescript, growl, iApps integration, keychain, etc. But with games, people don’t care about how the software interacts with the rest of the OS – they just want to play the game.

If Parallels can solve the Direct3D puzzle on the Mac, they should buy Crossroads and license out this Mac-compatibility sauce and get a piece of every single PC game sold from here on out.

Garmin posts teaser shots of Mac Training Center, and hints at more to come

January 4th, 2007 No comments

As I posted the other day, Garmin is going to show off the Mac version of Training Center at Macworld San Francisco next week. Attendees will be able to take home CD’s, but the rest of us will have to wait for the download to become available later in the month. Until then, Chet’s Corner has posted a new entry about Mac Training Center put up some teaser shots of the Macintosh app.

There isn’t a whole lot to see here, but it is exciting to get a taste of what we will see using native tools on the Mac. The interface of the app features the brushed metal look we have become accustomed to lately. I’m sure it follows the PC app closely, but I can’t help but think there was a missed opportunity to make the course and history browser use the iTunes browser convention instead of loading everything into the left pane. That would require the right pane to switch when you wanted to see the info panels, but those could’ve been floating windows instead. Oh well, I’m not an interface designer – so what do I know? Still, it looks like the UI was designed by an engineer.

Of course, the really big news here is that Garmin is going to announce future Mac software products next week on the Garmin Blog. I’m totally psyched out of my mind about this idea (think Elf) that there is more GPS software love coming to the Mac.

Categories: Apple, Technology Tags: , , ,

GPS is coming on strong for the Mac

January 1st, 2007 No comments

I was pretty excited when Google Reader showed me a new entry on the Garmin Blog last Friday about how they were going to release Garmin Training Center for the Mac. GPS (like its cousin, GIS) has always been a bit behind on the Mac. Still, we are starting to get some good tools now. Motionbased.com still doesn’t have all the functionality that is available to the PC side, but it’s close.

I think improved GPS support is really telling, in two ways. First, GPS is getting big. Sure, we gadget types have always loved these things, and we buy them pre-installed in our cars. But the market was very windows-centric because it was seen as a small niche and development resources went to the Windows market. Think Delorme and Microsoft Streets & Trips, et al. GPS is now big enough to warrant more interesting products for the Mac. Second, the Mac is getting really big. There’s a lot of excitement about the Mac platform and more and more software vendors are committing resources to develop apps for the Mac. This is awesome.

At this point, with Nike+ doing the treadmill thing, and Garmin doing the trail / running / biking thing, there are really good outdoor/fitness solutions out there Mac users. There’s even some interesting indie software like trailrunnerx. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks promising. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this trend in 2007.

Categories: Apple, Technology Tags: , , , ,

OK. I’m getting pretty excited about MacWorld

January 1st, 2007 No comments

The new teaser on Apple’s front page has me all worked up. I can’t wait to see what the message is tomorrow.

Categories: Apple Tags: , ,

Promoting independent Mac software developers

December 23rd, 2006 No comments

There’s been a lot of talk recently about various software bargain schemes and the associated web sites that have popped up recently. MacSanta, MacHeist, MacAppaDay, MacZot! are all examples. I think what we need is a common tag that all independent Mac developers can use so that people can more easily find blog posts, reviews, bookmarks in del.icio.us, and so on. But I can’t think of a good tag to use, so I need some help. Maybe you can make some suggestions…

  • IndieMacDev?
  • MacDev?
  • IndieMacScene?

Surely, you can think of something better than that.

Categories: Technology Tags: ,